Terry Funk and Pro Wrestling's 5 Shortest Retirements

Sharon GlencrossContributor IMay 29, 2013

Terry Funk and Pro Wrestling's 5 Shortest Retirements

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    Hardcore legend Terry Funk has retired too many times to count.

    Hey, this is a guy who first announced his retirement from the business in 1983. He came back a few months later. In the three decades since then, he's quit and come back numerous times, to the point where it's become a joke in the industry.

    According to Fighting Spirit Magazine, Funk admitted to the Ministry of Slam radio show back in January that this time he really did think he was done with in-ring action. Considering his age (he's 68) and worn-down physical state, this actually sounded quite believable.

    Was Funk genuinely telling the truth this time?

    Hah! Of course not. Only last week, he got physically involved at an event for indy company 2CW and appears to be heading for a grudge match with ROH's Kevin Steen soon.

    In fairness to Funk, he's hardly the first wrestler to have a short retirement. Let's have a look at the top five most glaring examples.

    Retirement? In wrestling? There's no such thing...

5. Roddy Piper

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    Roddy Piper's memorable WrestleMania III clash against Adrian Adonis was billed as his retirement bout.

    It made sense—Piper appeared to have achieved all he could as a loudmouth talk-show host. He also wanted an acting career (an area he found some success in, starring in John Carpenter's cult sci-fi classic They Live in 1988).

    Of course, it didn't last. Piper was back two years later at WrestleMania V. Piper later admitted in an interview with Arda Ocal, as outlined on ProWrestling.net, that the return was financially motivated.

    Despite They Live's success, it seemed the Hollywood community still wasn't ready to take a former wrestler seriously as an actor, and he realized he had to go back to WWF in order to make a living again.

    Retirement time: Two years.

4. Ric Flair

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    Honestly, it was not really a surprise that Ric Flair returned to wrestling after his memorable WWE retirement in April 2008.

    His well-publicized financial issues virtually guaranteed he would have had to return to his lucrative in-ring career at some point. It's also worth mentioning that, even if money wasn't a factor, the spotlight-loving Nature Boy would have probably found his way into some sort of wrestling match anyway.

    Simply put, the man loves the wrestling business. It's hard to imagine him settling into a quiet retirement, playing golf and being a Regular Joe.

    So Flair performed in his first official comeback match on the Hulkamania tour of Australia, as detailed by WrestleZone, in late 2009. He also got in the ring sporadically during his two-year TNA stint. But the less said about those (dreadful) bouts the better. 

    Retirement time: 18 months.

3. Mick Foley

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    Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack) fought and lost to Triple H in a brutal and bloody Hell in a Cell match at 2000's No Way Out pay-per-view. Per the stipulations, Foley was then forced to retire.

    Which he did.

    For about four weeks.

    Then Linda McMahon announced he would be taking part in the heavily hyped Fatal Four-Way at that year's WrestleMania event. Wow. That had to be one of the shortest retirements ever.

    Foley wrestled on and off for the next decade, with mixed results. Years of injuries had clearly taken their toll on his body and he wasn't the wrestler he once was, but he still managed to churn out the occasional great performance (like when he took on Randy Orton at 2004's Backlash event).

    According to PWTorch, the Hall of Famer has noted recently that he is definitely done with wrestling after a neurologist strongly urged him to stop (Foley has suffered numerous concussions throughout his career).

    You know what? He's probably telling the truth this time.

    Retirement time: Four weeks.

2. Hulk Hogan

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    In September 2011, a solemn-looking Hulk Hogan walked out on TNA: IMPACT, cut a long speech and announced that, after three decades, he was officially retiring from wrestling.

    Of course, a week later, the entire retirement was revealed by Sting to be nothing more than a money-making ruse by Hogan and best buddy Bischoff (they figured they would make millions off of gullible fans for a Hogan retirement tour). Hogan and Sting then faced off in a match at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view soon after.

    So, Hogan's "retirement" lasted less than a week, brother.

    Retirement time: A week.

1. John Cena

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    In late 2010 John Cena was forced to retire from wrestling after he failed to help Wade Barrett win the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at Survivor Series.

    So,  on the following evening's Raw, John Cena came out to cut what was a surprisingly poignant and touching goodbye promo. Blissfully free of the lame, corny jokes and annoying catchphrases that usually hinders his promo work, Cena spoke from the heart about what WWE and its fans meant to him. Even the crowd in attendance seemed taken aback by his earnestness and offered him a thoroughly warm reaction for once.

    There was even a nice scene backstage when his co-workers in the locker room gave him a respectful standing ovation as he left the arena.

    OK, so no one thought he was truly gone. It was assumed he would be coming back...eventually.

    However, few expected Cena to show up an hour later and attack Nexus, which was exactly what happened. Despite supposedly retiring, he never even missed an edition of Raw.

    Retirement time: One Hour.


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